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Ah yes, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The last of the great classic era Maiden albums. While many people consider this album to be the culmination of Maiden's classic era and an undeniable masterpiece, it doesn't have quite the same effect on me. Sure, Bruce sounds great along with Steve Harris and Nicko and the guitar work on this album is pretty damn awesome. The performance of the band is not at all what makes this album not a masterpiece to me as they are in absolute top form here.
The real issue here is consistency. Seventh Son continued the experimentation that was begun on Somewhere in Time with more progressive structures and keyboards, but this time the keyboards are much more prominent and I would consider this album as close to a progressive metal album as Iron Maiden ever got. However unlike Somewhere in Time, which is an album that I can listen to from start to finish and my personal favorite Maiden album, this one has some issues that drag the weight of the album down a bit.
The album's title track is by FAR the best song on this album and one of the best Maiden songs ever recorded. I'm not sure if they just put the most focus on this song or what because the rest of the songs aren't even close to it. There's some good songs, (The Evil That Men Do and Moonchild), some pretty good songs, (The Clairvoyant, Infinite Dreams, Only the Good Die Young), and absolute garbage (Can I Play With Madness?). The Prophecy is the only song that I like almost as much as the title track, though it seems to get a lot of hate for whatever reason.
One of my biggest problems with this album is that some songs that would be good songs are ruined by one bad section in the song. The most glaring example is Can I Play With Madness? which is a pretty good song until that god awful chorus starts and ruins the whole song (not that the rest was that good to begin with). The same thing happens in the Clairvoyant but the rest of the song is good enough to save it from being the biggest clunker on the album like Madness is.
If you like Iron Maiden you're more than likely to enjoy this album, and the title track is reason enough to own it. While this album isn't quite the masterpiece its hailed to be, it is the last of the classic Maiden albums so have yourself a listen and pretend that the band didn't release the heaping pile of shit that is No Prayer for the Dying 2 years later...